Making the Case for Arizona School Board Training

Daniel W. Eadens, Nicholas Clement, Michael Schwanenberger, Danielle M. Eadens
2016 International Research in Higher Education  
Some school boards suffer from deep-seated problems (Hess, 2010) and one of the danger signs is too little professional development (Dervarics & O'Brien, 2011) . Unfortunately, extreme minimal requirements to be certified as a board member such as only being a registered voter and a resident (ASBA, 2015; TASB, 2015; CABE, 2015; GSBA, 2015; & NYSSBA, 2015) coupled with the need for highly specialized skill sets (Rice et al., 2000) leaves a large gap. Lee and Eadens (2014) found this disconnect
more » ... tween minimal board legal qualifications and the multifaceted skills needed to be effective board members creates a highly compelling argument for comprehensive targeted board training and evaluation. This quantitative study compared Arizona districts' grades, the dependent variable, with state sponsored board trainings, the independent variable, during the 2014 school year. Crosstabulation aimed at finding differences greater than chance alone, indicated that districts who did not send board members to trainings, earned less A's and B's, were essentially less (high-performing) than expected and they earned more D's and F's (low-performing) than expected. In contrast, districts who sent more individuals to more trainings earned more A's and B's, (were more high-performing) than expected and they earned less D's and F's (were less low-performing) than expected. Additionally, districts attending more trainings overall had 1) a higher grade mean, 2) benefited by their grades dropping less on average, 3) had a higher average grade percentage, 4) dropped less on average grade percentage, and 5) overall dropped less on average as measured by state letter-grade systems than those districts that opted against sending board members to trainings. The results of this study are insightful, compelling, and highlights the importance of school board preparation and continuing professional development. Findings add to the body of knowledge related to professional development, training, and evaluation of school boards.
doi:10.5430/irhe.v1n2p99 fatcat:by6s7hjvxbgxjjlbnycydrq6d4